The 2003 Cyber Cafe at Everest Base Camp Project
Photos of what it took to set up a Cyber Cafe at the 18,500 foot base camp in May during the Celebration of Hillary and Norgay's first summit of Mt Everest in 1953 May, 1953 was the 50th Anniversary of the first summitting of Everest. By Edmund Hillary and Norgay Sherpa. A large number of climbers wanted to participate with their own attempts. And the majority of them would set up their support camps at the traditional Base Camp at the bottom of the Ice Fall where technical climbing begins. Tsering Sherpa, who already had a Cybercafe in Namche, where trekkers and climbers could - for the first time since leaving Kathmandu - send and receive email and send digital photos - even use Voice over IP - wanted to duplicate the Cybercafe at Base Camp for the 3 month climbing season celebration period. There would be hundreds of Base Camp tents and people, and reporters.
There was one major stumbling block. The Base Camp sits on the Khumbu glacier, which moves 4 feet a day. The Satellite base would have to be realigned often, and low clouds or storms around the peaks to the south could attenuate or block the signal.
So Tsering contacted me, Dave Hughes, for a solution. I devised a scheme by email and map browsing whereby if the satellite base was put 5 km away across the valley, up higher, and on hard ground, the satellite link would work. Then by using a pair of 802.11b Wi-Fi type radios with solar power, a broadband link could be made between the Satellite IP router and a Cybercafe Tent with radios in it at Base Camp.
Time was short, but I got Cisco Corporation via Jim Forster to donate, and get into the country a pair of Cisco 350 Access Points and 13.db directional antennas.
That worked - and the venture between Tsering and the Sargamartha Pollution Control Committee, and Worldlink was able to serve the hundreds of Base Campers, climbers, press, and trekkers an Internet link to the world from its highest ever Cybercafe, at $1 a minute, including even, Voice over IP.
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